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This chanel only shows items related to "Shane."

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Friday, December 26, 2014

More Tragedy, Status Update

A lot of Corinne's friends have heard by now that Shane's cousin (same age) was killed on Christmas Eve, down in the Lancaster, PA, area.

A very good friend just called me to see how we were handling things, considering our history with Shane; so it seems like this would be a good time to clear things up as best I can.

Stephanie Kilhefner was Shane's cousin on his Dad's side (his father's brother's daughter). She had two kids. Her husband turned himself in and confessed to everything yesterday. I'm not going to offer any details, or even links to the story, but I've already given enough info that you can google it if you want to be grossed out.

(We hear about stuff like this in the news all the time, but it's grosser when it's closer.)

To answer the main question being asked by the friend that called: we're ok. I knew of this cousin but had never met her. Corinne knew her and was friends with her on Facebook but hadn't seen her since before we met, so it's probably been twenty years.

There's nothing "good" about this. There's no "phew, that's a relief." What we have here is another Kilhefner tragedy, the third big one (that I'm aware of) in the last eleven years.

So we're hurting for them. We know their pain, we're intimately familiar with it, and we're reminded strongly of it. But we're not living it ourselves right now, except vicariously.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Ten Years

It's hard to believe ten years have passed since Shane died.

I remember sitting on our front steps in Mystic waiting for the police to show up, to tell us what they wouldn't say over the phone. We knew what they were going to say, but didn't want to believe it.

I remember Corinne going into the kitchen and throwing knives and dishes around in a fit of anguish... and wishing she had bought more breakable stuff because mostly it just dinged up the kitchen.

She slept a lot for weeks after that day. We had a new kitten, Kiki (who is even now crying outside my door, wondering what on God's green earth could be keeping my fingers and her fur so terribly separated), who stayed with her constantly while Corinne found a way to survive that near mortal wound.

Shane was the center of her life, and the part of herself about which she was most proud.

Ten years.

She's recovered beautifully, and is currently in Lancaster with her oldest, "bestest" friend. Give her a hug for me, Robin.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Ten years? Really?

In 2001 my work life was all about Conversant, my personal life was all about Corinne, Shane, and a house full of cats and birds.

I don't remember much about 2002, except that I reconnected with Steve Davis, someone I've known practically since I was a baby. We've always had our faith in common, and found that now we also have our bikes.

Two years later Shane was gone. That's all that year (2004) was about. Nothing else mattered. Hanging on to Corinne, propping her up, making sure she understood how much I love her and need her still, and trying to help her cope with a pain that defies belief.

2005 was a pretty big year. It included the release of Firefox Hacks (my first time in print!), tutoring the Pride kids (Avonlee and Ethan) in math, the PMC and its software auctions, the main author of Firefox Hacks (Nigel McFarlane) committed suicide, Corinne and I met the crew of the Atlantia, Jed moved in with us, I made friends with Jimmy Lehn (morning DJ at a local radio station), and we celebrated Thanksgiving at the Westerly WARM shelter. Finally, 2005 was the year I first started playing with Prototype. (Wow, i can't believe it was that long ago.)

In 2006 I met Greg Pierce years after he had worked for me at Macrobyte, my friend Darren and his wife Angi brought home their adoptees from Nepal, I wrote the "custom events" code for JavaScript that is *still* being used on Apple's web pages, attended the first Rails Conf, and I finally got to meet and begin forming a friendship with Rich Siegel and started working on language modules for his company's main software product, BBEdit. Jed left us, and headed for British Columbia and the woman he would eventually marry. Finally, we met Mike and Shannon late in the year.

2007 was unreal. If not for the pictures, most of it would be forgotten. I helped man the booth for Bare Bones at MacWorld Expo. Mike and Shannon moved in with us. Lauren was born! Mike and Shannon went away for a while. We did our best with Lauren and truly, completely fell in love with her. Visited her parents a lot. Finally met Jim Roepcke and Sean McMains at the second RailsConf (while Corinne stayed home with lauren). Jed married Alycia (and I got to attend, way out there in B.C., while Corinne AGAIN stayed home with Lauren), my grandfather turned eighty, Jed and Alycia came out for a visit (and haven't been back since), Corinne and I celebrated our tenth anniversary, and my sister and brother-in-law had their third daughter.

Shannon came hom again in January of '08. Lauren started walking and talking, and turned one. We got news (on the day Shannon came hom) that the house was being sold so we'd have to move (after ten years). Corinne, Ellyn and Lauren went to FL (Lauren's first plane ride). Richie (Shannon's eldest) came to live with us. My parents came to live with us, for a few months. I went to FL in October with Ellyn and the grandparents to pack them up and move them to Ellyn's house. The year ended with a terrible sprained ankle and a move from Mystic to Westerly.

In January of '09, Mike came home and the family was all back together. Unfortunately, in June they all left again. The relationship slowly thawed, but then in September they disappeared to North Carolina without warning and we thought they (especially Lauren) were gone forever. We got a ten day visit with Lauren in October, but taking her home was the second most difficult and painful thing I've ever done.

2010 started out with a brief visit from the Deanes, but after that the contact (via Skype or telephone) dwindled to nothing within a few months. I entered a serious depression (my first), which I tried to fill or bury with World of Warcraft. In March a rainstorm tried to wipe RI off the map, and in May I was brutally attacked by some blood clots that came from nowhere and landed in my left lung (killing part of it). In June, the Deanes moved back to the area, and we got regular visits with Lauren again. It took her a few minutes to remember us, but once she did it was like we were never apart.

As I write this, Lauren and Corinne are sleeping in my bed, above my office, just a few feet right over my head. I don't know what changes are coming our way next, but right now we have joy and I'm taking nothing for granted.

Happy New Year, everybody.

Friday, March 12, 2010

There's No Celebrating This Anniversary

Six years ago today: March 12, 2004. Much of that day is like a broken mirror, every tiny shard a piece of shattered memory and lost life. Every sliver seems significant, but none of it making much sense on its own.

What I remember most clearly is sitting with Corinne on the front steps of our house in Mystic. Waiting.

We'd spoken with a police officer from Norwich who told us only that "something happened with Shane," and "I can't tell you this over the phone."

Denial. We sat, waited, and denied in the mid-afternoon sunshine.

I held her, we talked. "Maybe he just got in trouble." "It could be anything."

Three of them came that day. Two officers. One priest-type, whoever was on call that day. We knew as soon as we saw him, and there was no more denying.

Somehow we were in the house, no longer on the front step. The officers tried talking to us, Reverend Badnews tried to be something other than what he was.

Corinne stormed into the kitchen and slammed the door. Her breaking heart sounded like shattering dishes and crashing cutlery. (Looking back now, I think, "How apropos.")

I tried to hear the men, let them tell me what happened so I could share it with Corinne when her storm had passed. If it would ever pass. I got that he fell from a balcony and hit his head. There wasn't much more to tell. The storm was raging, all I could do was shoo these helpless messengers out of our hell.

"Why are you here?" I asked Reverend Badnews, looking him in the eye. "I, I... to help." "You need to go."

The officer gave me his card.

Shattered slivers of memory from the day Shane Michael Ray Kilhefner, my wife's only child, died at 23.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Life Never Does

Shane would have and should have been twenty-nine years old today.

Life never does what you think it will, what it should. You never think you'll lose a child. Then when you do, you think life and the world will stop, maybe forever. But it keeps… it just keeps going. On and on. Then you think you'll never have another, you're too old or it's just not in God's plans... and here comes another baby, from out of nowhere, to raise as your own. You can't believe it happened, and how good it is, and she'll never replace the first but she expands your heart and teaches you to love again.

Then she's taken away, too. Almost as far as Shane was, but not quite, and it hurts almost as much but now it's the "not knowing" that burns so hot. It'll never be right again, you know she's gone forever just like him.

But now she tells us she loves us again, almost every night, and her sweet little face blows us kisses while her mommy and daddy smile and tell us they miss us and hope to see us soon. But never soon enough.

We miss you, Shane.


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